Florida Dems want to divest pensions from investments linked to Russia

Of Florida’s $195 billion in pension investments, the amount tied to Russia is relatively small.

Photo via Andrew Learned/Facebook
As Florida lawmakers prepare to gather May 23 for a special session about the state’s property-insurance problems, Democrats want them to also consider divesting pension-fund investments linked to Russia.

“These funds are helping to prop up the economy of Russia and are working against international efforts to sanction President Putin and his oligarchs for their war crimes in Ukraine,” Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday in a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who called the special session.

“Our bureaucracy has a fiduciary responsibility to chase value, which means they could, without our knowledge, pump more of Florida’s money into Russia looking for cheap investments,” the letter continued.

Of Florida’s $195 billion in pension investments, the amount tied to Russia is relatively small. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an estimated $300 million could be linked to Russian-owned or headquartered businesses.

Rep. Andrew Learned, a Brandon Democrat who was among the lawmakers signing the letter, contended the retirement system has already lost $200 million related to Russia.

Lamar Taylor, interim executive director of the State Board of Administration, has said that managers of the fund are trying to ensure the best economic outlook for the Florida Retirement System.
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